Dane Co. leaders plan to expand access to mental health recovery triage and restoration center

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County leaders announced Thursday a plan to expand access to mental health and addiction recovery services by pursuing the development of a mental health triage and restoration center.

County Executive Joe Parisi said funding mental health resources is an important step in the criminal justice reform process.

“We have a strong commitment to criminal justice reform. We’ve made great strides by implementing a community restorative court and other jail diversion programing,” Parisi said. “But the fact remains that an estimated 40 percent of those in the Dane County Jail suffer from mental illnesses; and we must do everything we can to support those in crisis and find safe alternatives to incarceration whenever possible.”

Triage and restoration centers provide services that help address mental health challenges inside and outside of the cranial justice system. The centers are typically open to the public and law enforcement alike.

“The triage and restoration center is a key part of our criminal justice reform package to keep people out of jail, and to improve the health of the community,” said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher, who also serves as the Chair of the Criminal Justice Council. “This innovation is in use in communities throughout the country. The planning of Dane County’s triage and restoration center is the result of several years of community-involved research and advocacy.”